A reader e-mail I received this morning suggested that my credibility might be enhanced if I disclosed my "failed attempts" to land employment with the Joplin Globe.
While I wouldn't exactly characterize it that way, the reader has a valid point. Some of my conflicts of interest have been disclosed in this blog from time to time, but in the interest of full disclosure, I will detail my relationship with some of the people and companies that have been featured in The Turner Report.
The Joplin Globe- When I was fired at The Carthage Press in May 1999, something about which I have previously written, I did talk with Ed Simpson at the Globe about a reporting position. I was already seeking a teaching position because I had been sidetracked from that pursuit 18 years earlier, but I would have been happy to have landed a job with the Globe simply because I could have stayed in Carthage while I continued to hunt for a teaching job. When I left the Globe office, I was under the impression that when a hiring freeze that was in place at the time was lifted, I would be hired. I wrote Mr. Simpson a few days later, thanking him for the interview and noting that I would still be interested in working at the Globe. I followed that up a few weeks later. When I learned two people had been hired as reporters at the Globe, I quickly came to the conclusion that I was not at the top of Simpson's list.
While I was teaching at Diamond, I sent in an application for an investigative reporter opening. I was really more curious about what the Globe planned to do with that position. Despite my considerable background in investigative reporting, I was never contacted for an interview. I was more relieved than disappointed.
I did not hold that against the Globe. I was teaching, which is what I wanted to do. I even e-mailed a tip to Simpson at the height of the Enron situation, noting a local tie-in- that Former State Representative Roy Cagle, R-Joplin, had been a lobbyist for Enron. I can't recall that the information ever made it into the pages of the Globe, but it was offered to them. I have always made it a habit to help Globe reporters who called asking me for tips on how to dig up records or information about stories they were working on and I w as plea sed with the recent article Max McCoy wrote about this blog.
My main connection with the Globe has been as a reader since I was four years old.
KSNF- Jim Jackson did an excellent profile of my reporter Holly Sundy at the Lamar Democrat w hen she was named the youngest sports editor in Missouri at age 18 while she was a senior at Lamar High School. Another KSN reporter did a balanced article about the Diamond R-4 Board of Education hearing in which I was put on an unpaid leave of absence after already signing a contract to teach for the district during the 2003-2004 school year. Jim Jackson also spoke to my classes at Diamond Middle School.
KODE- This is the big one. Though I don't talk about those dark days often- I interviewed for a weekend weather/reporter position in 1979. I did not get the job. I have always felt that was a blessing since many have told me I have a face that is perfect for radio. Former KODE reporter Tracy Turner did a good job on a report on Carthage Press teen reporters Cait Purinton and Keegan Checkett.
KOAM- No conflicts here. Toby and Andy interviewed me on the morning show in 1993 after I ran a report detailing that KOAM carried more local news per six o'clock broadcast (a n average of seven minutes and 23 seconds) than any other local station.
O'Sullivan Industries- As I have pointed out on many occasions, the O'Sullivan family has always been supportive of me.
Politics- In 1974, as a high school senior, I served as campaign manager for teenager Wayne Johnson when he successfully ran for Newton County Court Judge (now commissioner) on the Democratic ticket. I did not help him two years later when he lost in a race for county clerk and if I had, he still would have lost because he was not going to beat Bob Bridges. In 1984, I served as Barton County coordinator for Colorado Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign. I did not get a chance to repeat in 1988 and I was never even invited aboard the yacht. Former State Representative Bubs Hohulin worked for me at the Lamar Democrat, writing sports and taking pictures, and as I recall, he did a fine job. I also gave him the column that got him started on his political career. As far as I know, I have nothing to disclose about my relationships with other area politicians.
Diamond School District- I don't have the time or the space to go into all of that, but it has been detailed on this blog and at Wildcat Central.
Small Town News- All right. I will admit it. I have been pushing this book relentlessly for the past couple of months...and how do I say this...I actually receive money every time a copy of the book is sold. It is an obvious conflict of interest and I intend to continue doing it.